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I don't take lunch, should I get paid for it?

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New member
What is the name of your state? California
I have done quite a bit of googling and as far as I can tell I should be getting paid for my lunch breaks, but I would like some direct advice from someone with more knowledge than me.

I am a night auditor for a hotel, graveyard. I do not have anyone on property to cover my breaks and I'm not allowed to leave the property, or really even leave the desk for more than ten minutes at a time. Even though I end up having a lot of free time during my shift, should I still have a half hour deducted from my pay every day? I don't even clock out, my GM automatically deducts the time from my time sheets every pay period.

In my previous position at a hotel, I initially signed a break waiver for my swing shift position. Then someone reported this to the labor board and day shifts were forced to take covered lunch breaks while the auditor was allowed to maintain the waiver and not take a lunch because no one would be on shift to cover it.

I just got this job and it would pay as much as my last one if I were working a full 40 hours, not 35. I need those extra five hours every pay period and I'm not eager to look for another job. Please advise.
Thank you in advance.


I'm a Northern Girl
If you are not taking breaks then absolutely you should be paid for the time.


Senior Member
The manager has the right to decide whether or not you are paid for a lunch break, are obligated to take an unpaid break. It really isn't your decision whether or not to take it. You can try asking them if you can't just be paid for this extra 30 minutes since you don't really want a break. But if they say no, you could possibly sue them later and demand to be paid for hours you've been working in unauthorized overtime. And if they've dealt with the wage and hour folks already, they've probably been told not to let people work any time they aren't being paid for. They may only want to pay you for 35 hours a week. And if that's the case, they can elect to terminate you if you persistently work more than they are willing to be paying you for.


Senior Member
I just got this job and it would pay as much as my last one if I were working a full 40 hours, not 35. I need those extra five hours every pay period and I'm not eager to look for another job. Please advise.
If you want to be paid, ask to be paid. If the answer is no, report it to the labor board.

Just don't admit to anyone that you have a lot of free time on the job.


Senior Member
I too work overnights a 11pm to 9am shift BUT from 11pm to 7am The over night awake staff is the only staff in the house and ALL time over nights or days and evenings is paid time , but we are supposed to get 3 ten minute breaks in a 8 hour shift. When the 7am staff gets there I try to take a break from responsibility about 7:30am I suspect if you bring your complaint to your states labor board your employer isn't going to be happy with you but youll get paid for the time . AS far as the front desk goes does every thing have locks on it ? If so and you stand your ground were you insist on break time and say don't answer the phone , if you are questioned insist you were in the bathroom making a Gigantic economy size deposit and you were not able to answer the phone ( for a half hour) BTW even if management doesn't want you gone from the desk for more than 10 min, your employer must provide you reasonable toilet breaks If your feeling bold you should politely tell management they should find someone to come in and relive you for 30 minutes every shift or you will have no choice but to ask your states department of labor what your options are for being forced to work off the clock.

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